Tuesday, August 21, 2001

Franklin teachers ratify deal

Salaries in line with Warren

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        FRANKLIN — Teachers will be in their classrooms Wednesday instead of walking the picket line after Sunday's ratification of a master contract by the Franklin Education Association.

        The deal gives teachers a 14 percent pay raise over the next three years.

        The association voted overwhelmingly in favor of the three-year pact. Frank lin's 200 teachers will receive a 5.75 percent pay increase immediately. The school board is set to vote on the contract Wednesday.

        “The board and administration are happy it's settled,” said Interim Superintendent Bill Wood. “We want to get back to the task at hand — educating kids in the district.”

        Earlier this month the association notified the board it would strike Monday if no agreement was reached. The teachers' previous contract expired July 31. The stumbling block was wages, with the teachers asking for a 15 percent increase, while the board offered a 12 percent.

        A federal mediator assisted on the compromise, Mr. Wood said.

        “Both sides worked hard to reach an agreement,” said Clarence McDade, president of the Franklin Board of Education. “I think all our employees are glad it's settled. We'll be able to compete better for staff members and most importantly, keep those we have.”

        Under the three-year contract, retroactive to Aug. 1, a beginning teacher with a bachelor's degree and no experience will earn $28,303 annually, an increase of $1,539.

        Teachers will receive 5.25 percent increases in 2002 and 2003.

        “Teachers wanted to be in a competitive situation in Warren County,” Mr. Wood said. “They're in the middle now. We want to attract and keep teachers here.”

        The contract also gives teachers a vision plan for the first time and changes their insurance so that all employee groups have similar plans.


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